Actinomycetes enrich soil rhizosphere and improve seed quality as well as productivity of legumes by boosting nitrogen availability and metabolism

Citation:
AbdElgawad, H., W. Abuelsoud, M. M. Y. Madany, S. Selim, G. Zinta, A. S. M. Mousa, and W. N. Hozzein, "Actinomycetes enrich soil rhizosphere and improve seed quality as well as productivity of legumes by boosting nitrogen availability and metabolism", Biomolecules, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 1–19, 2020.

Abstract:

The use of actinomycetes for improving soil fertility and plant production is an attractive strategy for developing sustainable agricultural systems due to their effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and low production cost. Out of 17 species isolated from the soil rhizosphere of legume crops, 4 bioactive isolates were selected and their impact on 5 legumes: soybean, kidney bean, chickpea, lentil, and pea were evaluated. According to the morphological and molecular identification, these isolates belong to the genus Streptomyces. Here, we showed that these isolates increased soil nutrients and organic matter content and improved soil microbial populations. At the plant level, soil enrichment with actinomycetes increased photosynthetic reactions and eventually increased legume yield. Actinomycetes also increased nitrogen availability in soil and legume tissue and seeds, which induced the activity of key nitrogen metabolizing enzymes, e.g., glutamine synthetase, glutamate synthase, and nitrate reductase. In addition to increased nitrogen-containing amino acids levels, we also report high sugar, organic acids, and fatty acids as well as antioxidant phenolics, mineral, and vitamins levels in actinomycete treated legume seeds, which in turn improved their seed quality. Overall, this study shed the light on the impact of actinomycetes on enhancing the quality and productivity of legume crops by boosting the bioactive primary and secondary metabolites. Moreover, our findings emphasize the positive role of actinomycetes in improving the soil by enriching its microbial population. Therefore, our data reinforce the usage of actinomycetes as biofertilizers to provide sustainable food production and achieve biosafety.

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